The Minority Caucus has called on the government to immediately put in measures that will provide some relief for small and medium scale enterprises as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.
Interacting with some journalists on behalf of the Minority Caucus on the sidelines of Parliamentary sitting on Monday, March 23, 2020, the Ranking Member on the Committee on Trade & Industry and Tourism, Hon. Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, said even though government has started engaging captains of industry on how best they could support their business, an initiative he commended, he said players in the SME sector must be engaged by managers of the economy to see how best their businesses could be supported.
Hon. Kofi-Buah who is also the NDC MP for Ellembele, said the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic on the Ghanaian economy both short and long term, will be dire, thereby, necessitating urgent support to prevent them from collapsing.
For instance, he said the Ministry of Finance together with the Bank of Ghana should engage players in the financial sector, especially, the various banks to see how best they could repackage the loans contracted by the small and medium scale business to enable them stay in business.
That notwithstanding, he said interest rates should also be reviewed and scaled down for players in the SME sector.
“Government must be commended for taking bold measures by engaging captains of industry, thus the Association of Ghana Industries. It has also engaged players in the pharmaceutical industry which is a step in the right direction. However, it must make public the outcome of these engagements. We in the Minority would also like the government to put in place measures that will support small and medium scale businesses stay in business in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic. Loans must be restructured and spread considering the impact the coronavirus will have on our economy in the short and long terms. They must also see how best they could reduce interest rate. All these will help our brothers and sisters in the SME sector stay in business”, he noted.